Purchasing staff should enter all negotiations with clearly defined objectives. Without having objectives the possibility for the purchasing professional to concede on price, quality or service is significantly raised. The negotiator should enter into discussions with the vendor with precise objectives that they wish to achieve for their company.
The objective should not be absolute and should allow for some flexibility. However, the negotiator should also ensure that they do
not deviate from the objectives and allow themselves to negotiate on areas that were not part of the discussion. For example, a negotiator may have worked with the vendor on their objectives on price and service, but not quality. When the vendor starts to discuss quality, the negotiator should refrain from any agreement where they are without a set objective.
Negotiation is an important part of the role of the purchasing professional. It is a skill that is learnt and training can help purchasing staff in understanding what is needed when negotiating with vendors.